Who can be a surrogate? Do I qualify? Am I too old? These are some of the most common asked questions by women considering surrogacy. We’re here to set the record straight!
At Reproductive Possibilities, women must meet certain requirements in order to be considered as a surrogate mother. We refer to these as our A–B–C–D requirements:
- Age. We currently accept women with ages ranging from 21 to 43. Exceptions may be made for experienced surrogates (over 43).
- BMI. Your BMI (body mass index) is a calculation between your height and weight. We accept BMIs from 18-35. Exceptions may be made for experienced surrogates (BMI up to 38).
- Community. We work with women from all over the United States. Currently, we are unable to accept women from NY, HI, LA, MI, AK. (NY, LA, and MI do not have favorable surrogacy laws. HI and AK are considerably more expensive for IPs.)
- Deliveries. You must have had at least 1 full term healthy pregnancy.
If you meet the bullets above, you may qualify to become a surrogate! Additional requirements for surrogates are below.
Beyond the basic A–B–C–D requirements, every fertility clinic has their own set of guidelines and qualifications a woman must meet in order to qualify for the surrogacy process. At Reproductive Possibilities, we work with many different clinics so we review all surrogate applications on a case-by-case basis. When you submit your initial application, one of our GC (gestational carrier) coordinators will reach out to you to discuss your application, as well as answer any questions you may have. Read more about the early steps of the surrogate process here.
Because we must abide by the strict guidelines set forth by fertility clinics, not all women who apply are able to move forward as surrogates with us. Women who are disqualified from the surrogacy process, may not move forward for a variety of reasons.
Here are some other reasons that may disqualify you from becoming a surrogate:
- Too many c-sections (no more than 3 prior)
- Too many vaginal deliveries (no more than 8 prior)
- History of miscarriage (multiple and/or unexplained)
- Smoking during pregnancy(ies)
- Postpartum Depression (depends on situation)
- History of drug/alcohol abuse or addiction
- History of mental health issues (medicated, hospitalized, suicidal attempts, etc.)
- Will Not Abort for Life Threatening Issues (We will not accept someone who would not be willing to terminate in case of a life threatening situation. We are not willing to allow you to put your own life at risk in order to help someone else.)
There may also be some situations where you can be a surrogate after a wait time:
- If you smoke. If you did not smoke (or use any nicotine products) during your pregnancies and have been nicotine free for a minimum of 6-8 months, you may be considered.
- If you’re breastfeeding. If you are currently breastfeeding, you can apply to become a surrogate but will not be able to move forward medically until after your child has weaned completely.
- If you’ve recently gotten tattoos/piercings. You must wait a minimum of 6-8 months after getting a new tattoo or piercing, before applying to become a gestational surrogate. (Some clinics may also require proof of the tattoo license from the facility!)
As mentioned, we review each application on a case by case basis. Here are some situations for applicants that will be considered:
- Income level. Every situation and home works differently and the cost of living for one family may not be the same as another (depending on state, how many kids, marital status, etc.). We cannot state that you must make a specific “amount” per month to qualify because it is all relative. We do consider each candidate separately and look at their “whole picture”.
- Situational Medications. Sometimes things happen in life that we are not fully equipped to handle on our own. It is not uncommon for someone to have taken anti-depressants for a temporary time to help get them through a rough time in their life (death, divorce, etc.). Again, we will discuss any situations and consider each candidate separately.
- Education. Typically, in order to become a surrogate mother, it is required that you have your HS diploma or a GED equivalent. We understand that there may be some situations that make or made this difficult to do so we will consider women who have also held a steady employment for at least 5 years.
Surrogacy is a big commitment and we want to make sure that the Intended Parents are given the best possible chance to start and/or grow their families. If you have any questions or think you might qualify, please reach out to us here or fill out an application here!